Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 2:22 pm on 4th July 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2:22 pm, 4th July 2007

I can assure the right hon. Gentleman and the Secretary of State that we have no intention of dividing the House this afternoon. The principles behind the Bill are worth while and it deserves to go into Committee. The right hon. Gentleman, my hon. Friend Mrs. Miller and I will have many questions to put to Ministers as the Bill goes through the House. But we all hope that this time, they have got it right, and that the change can make a difference so that in future, mothers and fathers will be able to resolve their affairs through a system that is fair, transparent and effective, and that those who step outside the rules will face proper sanctions.

The truth is that the Bill is short on detail. The changes to be made may be the ones that are needed, but too many questions remain unanswered. A lot of work needs to be done in Committee; the Government still have a lot to do. This time, they cannot afford to get it wrong. Too much rides on the Bill: the financial well-being of women around the country, and a fair deal for the men—but above all, the interests of the children, the innocent victims of relationships gone wrong. For their interests, more than any others, the Bill and the Government need to get it right.